The Fresh Loaf

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Forgot the milk ...

Raisins's picture

Forgot the milk ...

Making Peter Reinhart's basic whole wheat recipe in an early morning fog, I used water instead of milk in the soaker.  My thinking is, for the final dough, I'll double the butter and bump up the brown sugar a bit. I'm hoping the outcome will be good tasting loaves with a bubblier crumb.

Yes? No? Or should I start over?

yy's picture

That sounds like a plan. No need to start over. Another approach would be to add milk powder to the final dough rather than increasing the butter content.

Raisins's picture

YY, thanks for the vote of confidence.  

hanseata's picture

Unless you are very fond of sweet bread I would be careful about adding more sugar. Reinhart has a bit of a sweet tooth (his own words) and I always reduce the sweetener in his formulas.

In principle it doesn't matter too much, whether you use milk or water. A bread with water will be leaner. You will need a bit less water than milk because of the milk solids, though.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So you may find the dough too wet like Karen just mentioned.  So for every 100g water, you have 10g to 13 g more water than the recipe.  If you add enough flour to get the proper dough hydration, you may need to add roughly 15g flour for each 100g of water that was added instead of milk.  Figure the total amount of flour needed and then figure the extra salt needed (between 1.6% and 2%.)  

I think I got my maths right. :)  Mini

Raisins's picture

I would have tried the powdered milk suggestion but there was no time to go to a store. So ... for a two loaf batch of dough, I increased 2 oz. of butter to 4 and 3 oz of brown sugar to 3 3/4 oz. (All measures by weight, not volume.)

The result was great - two handsome loaves, very good taste, a finer crumb than I expected, and a crustier exterior. Also the dough was easier to work and seemed more "eager" to rise. I guess I have been intimidated by all the cautions not to mess with bread recipes, but this mess turned out fine.  Thanks for the encouragement, everybody.